The Good, the Bad and the Creative: Language in Wittgenstein’s Philosophy


GREVE Sebastian Sunday MÁCHA Jakub

Year of publication 2016
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

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Description This introductory chapter presents the reader with various ways of approaching the topic ‘Wittgenstein and the creativity of language’. It is argued that any serious account of the questions arising from this joint consideration of, on the one hand, this great genius of philosophy and, on the other, the varieties of speech, text, action and beauty which go under the heading ‘the creativity of language’ will have to appreciate the potential of both, in terms of breadth as well as depth. First, the chapter points out a way of understanding Wittgenstein’s discussion of rules and rule-following in relation to meaning and normativity which, in virtue of respecting Wittgenstein’s own creativity as a writer, does not fall prey to a widespread source of misunderstanding. Next, Wittgenstein’s uses of language receive some additional attention (i.e. his use of analogies, metaphors, punctuation and other literary and rhetorical devices), before a glimpse is offered of an unravelling of the knot that is Wittgenstein and the creativity of language. The multiple interrelated threads here lead into areas of human concern ranging from the philosophy of language and logic through to ethics, aesthetics and politics. Finally, this introductory chapter offers an overview of the contents of the book from the perspective of its editors.
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